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As you probably know A24 has been in development for over two years and thousands of revisions have been committed. Rumour has it it is nearing completion, which is great! Numerous things have been improved and releasing for a wider audience is certainly welcome.

However, some mechanics are fundamentally different in A24 than they were in A23. Things I'm most concerned about:

 

Firstly, the way technology modifications are applied. Technologies (and civ bonuses) are supposed to be permanent, auras (and team bonuses) temporary. In A23 the order in which modifications were applied (@fatherbushido) was:

  1. template values
  2. technology replaces
  3. technology multiplications
  4. technology additions
  5. aura replaces
  6. aura multiplications
  7. aura additions

In A24 this is changed to (@wraitii, please correct me if I'm mistaken):

  1. template values
  2. technology and aura replaces
  3. technology and aura multiplications
  4. technology and aura additions

To me, the old order made a lot more sense than the new.

Moreover, things are fundamentally different for captured entities (as spotted by @Freagarach). As you may know, civic centres have 3000 health by default; brit and gaul structures have −20% wood cost, build time, and health; athen, mace, spart structures have +10% health. In A23, if you're playing athen and capture a brit centre, it still has 2400 health when it's your brit centre. In A24, on the other hand, a brit centre has 2400 health before it's captured, but 3300 health after it's captured by athen—and vice versa: an athen centre captured by brit immediately jumps from 3300 health to 2400. This is really counterintuitive. Modifications ought to depend on the entity's civ, not the owner's civ. When an entity's ownership changes, it should keep the values it had before.

Now I was told the A23 code was buggy and it's no longer possible to revert to it. That may be true, but the current situation is not satisfactory either.

 

Secondly, range computations have changed too. In A23, all ranges were computed from the entity's centre. Because structures have much higher footprints than soldiers, this meant archers could easily hit structures with the same attack range, without those able to shoot back, which was certainly undesirable.

To address that, attack and aura ranges are now calculated from the circle around the entity's obstruction (i.e. increased by the obstruction radius). However, territory influence and vision ranges are still calculated from the centre, which means a centre's attack range of 70 actually extends beyond its vision of 90.

Furthermore, structures tend to have footprints slightly larger than their obstruction sizes. Because footprints can be circular but obstructions are always rectangular, this means that for rectangular structures the obstruction radius is smaller than the footprint radius (as it should be), but for circular structures (e.g. brit fortress), the obstruction radius is in practice larger than its footprint radius, which is wrong, and means higher minimum and maximum ranges.

Moreover, auras affect all relevant entities, so what matters is the area covered, not merely the distance (unlike attacks). The new calculation method (from the obstruction radius instead of the centre) means that a small difference in the obstruction size can easily result in a difference in free aura area much larger than the total obstruction size.

 

Again, these are the things I'm most concerned about. Other people may see different things. If you spot something else in the development version that seems fundamentally wrong (compared to A23), please post here too.

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14 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Firstly, the way technology modifications are applied. Technologies (and civ bonuses) are supposed to be permanent, auras (and team bonuses) temporary. In A23 the order in which modifications were applied (@fatherbushido) was:

  1. [...]

To me, the old order made a lot more sense than the new.

This is actually somewhat inaccurate, the order is:

  • Template values
  • Global (techs/global auras/other modifiers such cheats)
    •  If any 'replace' is present, it is picked. If multiple 'replace' are present, a random one is chosen. Otherwise, X * mult + additions.
      • Note that the replace behaviour isn't changed from A23.
  • Local modifiers & auras

The main difference is that global auras now multiply and add alongside techs, instead of on top of them. I don't think this is obviously better or worse. In practice, since most auras are local, there should be limited difference with A23.

14 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Now I was told the A23 code was buggy and it's no longer possible to revert to it.

It was buggy, and it's not even that it's not possible to revert to it but simply not desirable.

14 minutes ago, Nescio said:

This is really counterintuitive. Modifications ought to depend on the entity's civ, not the owner's civ. When an entity's ownership changes, it should keep the values it had before. [...],  the current situation is not satisfactory either.

I would legitimately disagree with you that modifiers, in general, should depend on the creator's civ. Cheat modifiers, for example, are obviously tied to a player. Techs are a bit of an annoying in-between where, for some of them, they're more like "stuff that should replace template values", and for others, they're more tied to the owner's civilisations.
E.g. a better spear-point is probably something that should be carried over on capture, but better training is arguable, and stuff like higher gather rate is probably not carried-over.

You focus on structure HP but that's actually about the only place where the A23 bug could be noticed, and to be honest I don't think it's that much of an issue, it's a pretty minor thing all in all. In my opinion, the current situation is very satisfactory.

That being said, I agree that it would be nice to make "carry-over" techs possible, but that requires more thinking.

14 minutes ago, Nescio said:

To address that, attack and aura ranges are now calculated from the circle around the entity's obstruction (i.e. increased by the obstruction radius). However, territory influence and vision ranges are still calculated from the centre, which means a centre's attack range of 70 actually extends beyond its vision of 90.

This seems like a straightforward template fix.

14 minutes ago, Nescio said:

[Obstruction Sizes]

My take is that we went from a straight up bad situation (attacks being broken is horrible) to a not-great situation (ranges varying so much by building obstruction sizes isn't awesome). That being said, I think it's not such a huge concern: areas aren't a perfect metric either, because units are discrete things and you can't really "fill" an aura range with units, it's not how things work. So, I would argue, for most cases, the distance remains rather relevant since it's what will matter for "how long until unit X is in range of Y", and for battlefield tactics I also think you'll find the actual advantage not as big as the maths say.

--

In my opinion, though I acknowledge the concerns, none of what you raise here are large enough issues that they must be fixed for Alpha 24.

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31 minutes ago, Nescio said:

Moreover, things are fundamentally different for captured entities (as spotted by @Freagarach). As you may know, civic centres have 3000 health by default; brit and gaul structures have −20% wood cost, build time, and health; athen, mace, spart structures have +10% health. In A23, if you're playing athen and capture a brit centre, it still has 2400 health when it's your brit centre. In A24, on the other hand, a brit centre has 2400 health before it's captured, but 3300 health after it's captured by athen—and vice versa: an athen centre captured by brit immediately jumps from 3300 health to 2400. This is really counterintuitive. Modifications ought to depend on the entity's civ, not the owner's civ. When an entity's ownership changes, it should keep the values it had before.

I believe this would be negated somewhat if template values were used for these things instead of "cleaner" auto-researched techs. 

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13 minutes ago, wraitii said:
      • Note that the replace behaviour isn't changed from A23.

The main difference is that global auras now multiply and add alongside techs, instead of on top of them. I don't think this is obviously better or worse. In practice, since most auras are local, there should be limited difference with A23.

For the public version, probably very little in practice, but we don't know what other mods do.

26 minutes ago, wraitii said:

It was buggy, and it's not even that it's not possible to revert to it but simply not desirable.

Point taken. To be clear, I'm not arguing we should revert to the old situation, I'm merely pointing out the new situation isn't unproblematic either.

16 minutes ago, wraitii said:

I would legitimately disagree with you that modifiers, in general, should depend on the creator's civ. Cheat modifiers, for example, are obviously tied to a player. Techs are a bit of an annoying in-between where, for some of them, they're more like "stuff that should replace template values", and for others, they're more tied to the owner's civilisations.

My point is technologies, auras, cheats are different things and I question whether treating them all the same is really the best possible situation.

30 minutes ago, wraitii said:

E.g. a better spear-point is probably something that should be carried over on capture

And attack range, capture points, damage resistance, movement speed etc.

33 minutes ago, wraitii said:

You focus on structure HP but that's actually about the only place where the A23 bug could be noticed,

I gave structure health as an example because that's where I first stumbled upon the difference, but it's also relevant for tower attacks (there are several technologies for that) or artillery (which is still capturable).

37 minutes ago, wraitii said:

and to be honest I don't think it's that much of an issue, it's a pretty minor thing all in all. In my opinion, the current situation is very satisfactory.

Well, I'm not a programmer and don't have a solution, but I'm concerned about the new situation and disagree with you here on this.

33 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

I believe this would be negated somewhat if template values were used for these things instead of "cleaner" auto-researched techs. 

Having to maintain dozens of xml templates instead of just one json file is a lot more work. Very few modify the development version, others may not even be aware their mod files are applied differently than they were used to.

Moreover, the new situation how information in the civilization overview is loaded (committed a few days ago by @s0600204) is an extra reason in favour of having separate files for civ bonuses, rather than hiding them in templates (e.g. cart dock, market, merchant ship).

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10 minutes ago, Nescio said:

My point is technologies, auras, cheats are different things and I question whether treating them all the same is really the best possible situation.

That I could agree with. I don't think 0 A.D. at the moment makes enough of a difference that it actually matters.
There is a way to fix this with the setup we have, by giving different priorities to different sources, but it needs to be implemented.

10 minutes ago, Nescio said:

I gave structure health as an example because that's where I first stumbled upon the difference, but it's also relevant for tower attacks (there are several technologies for that) or artillery (which is still capturable).

Given that it was a bug of the Health component however, I think these techs might have no difference between A23 and A24.

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If, in A23b, one (e.g. athen) would capture a briton structure it would have less health indeed, but if one would research a tech modifying structure HP or capture a relic doing that, the new health would be calculated from the athen HP, not the briton. So if the bonus was e.g. +10%, the resulting HP would be 3630, not 2640.

Indeed persistent techs would be nice to have and that's something on my list for someday as well.

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On 10/1/2021 at 2:34 PM, hyperion said:

The only concern I have is that the differences between civs once more decreased.

While this is true, I'd like to point out that:

- In MP, it makes more civs viable, meaning this actually increases diversity.

- Our civs were never _that_ different to begin with.

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